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1.  Ameliorating Effects of Iron and Zinc on Vigna mungo L. Treated with Tannery Effluent 
Journal of Toxicology  2014;2014:910497.
Different dilutions, that is, 25, 50, 75, and 100%, of tannery effluent (TE) were chosen for the present study to assess the phytotoxic effects on Vigna mungo L. For amelioration purposes, different levels and combinations of iron and zinc were supplied to the plants along with 50% TE that is chosen on the basis of prior test under Petri dish culture. Cytotoxic and biochemical analysis and plant tolerance index (PTI) of plant were observed. Mitotic index deceased with increase in effluent concentration whereas abnormality % was increased. The pigments (chlorophyll a, total, and carotenoids) were decreased with increasing treatment levels of TE at both growth stages. However, carotenoid content increased significantly at all dilution levels of TE after first growth stage. Chlorophyll b was increased significantly after 35 days of growth but decreased after 70 days. The protein contents were also significantly decreased with increase in all TE treatments and increased significantly in zinc recovery treatments. Activities of catalase and peroxidase enzymes were significantly affected and increased significantly with effluent treatments. PTI showed an enhanced tolerance capacity of plant with treatment of iron and zinc. A negative correlation was found (r = −0.97) between plant height and different dilutions of effluent whereas it was positively correlated (r = 0.95) with iron and zinc treatments. The study represents the ameliorative effect of iron and zinc for phytotoxic damage in V. mungo caused by tannery effluent.
PMCID: PMC4254070  PMID: 25505908
2.  Genetic stability and phytochemical analysis of the in vitro regenerated plants of Dendrobium nobile Lindl., an endangered medicinal orchid 
Meta Gene  2014;2:489-504.
An efficient genetically stable regeneration protocol with increased phytochemical production has been established for Dendrobium nobile, a highly prized orchid for its economic and medicinal importance. Protocorm like bodies (PLBs) were induced from the pseudostem segments using thidiazuron (TDZ; 1.5 mg/l), by-passing the conventional auxin–cytokinin complement approach for plant regeneration. Although, PLB induction was observed at higher concentrations of TDZ, plantlet regeneration from those PLBs was affected adversely. The best rooting (5.41 roots/shoot) was achieved in MS medium with 1.5 mg/l TDZ and 0.25% activated charcoal. Plantlets were successfully transferred to a greenhouse with a survival rate of 84.3%, exhibiting normal development. Genetic stability of the regenerated plants was investigated using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism markers which detected 97% of genetic fidelity among the regenerants. The PIC values of RAPD and SCoT primers were recorded to be 0.92 and 0.76 and their Rp values ranged between 3.66 and 10, and 4 and 12 respectively. The amplification products of the regenerated plants showed similar banding patterns to that of the mother plant thus demonstrating the homogeneity of the micropropagated plants. A comparative phytochemical analysis among the mother and the micropropagated plants showed a higher yield of secondary metabolites. The regeneration protocol developed in this study provides a basis for ex-situ germplasm conservation and also harnesses the various secondary metabolite compounds of medicinal importance present in D. nobile.
•An efficient micropropagation protocol for Dendrobium nobile, has been developed.•Genetic stability evaluated by ScoT and RAPD markers.•Higher antioxidant activity within the micropropagated plants over the mother plant.•Efficiency of TDZ as a potent growth regulator.
PMCID: PMC4287867  PMID: 25606433
In vitro propagation; Genetic fidelity; RAPD; SCoT; Antioxidants; Secondary metabolites
3.  In vitro propagation of Homalomena aromatica Schott., an endangered aromatic medicinal herb of Northeast India 
A successful report on the in vitro propagation of Homalomena aromatica via rhizome axillary bud multiplication is presented. Rhizome bud explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with various concentrations of cytokinins to induce multiple shoot formation for micropropagation. The highest number of shoots was achieved in MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mg l−1 6-benzylaminopurine. The regenerated shoots rooted most efficiently on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 0.5 mg l−1 α-naphthalene acetic acid. The regenerated plantlets showed no morphological differences from the parent plant. This protocol takes approximately 6 months to reach the acclimatization stage from the initiation stage and facilitates commercial and rapid propagation of H. aromatica.
PMCID: PMC3656179  PMID: 24431499
Cytokinins; Homalomena aromatica; In vitro propagation; Multiple shoots; Rhizome axillary bud
4.  Effect of Chromium on Antioxidant Potential of Catharanthus roseus Varieties and Production of Their Anticancer Alkaloids: Vincristine and Vinblastine 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:934182.
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don, a medicinal plant, has a very important place in the traditional as well as modern pharmaceutical industry. Two common varieties of this plant rosea and alba are named so because of pink and white coloured flowers, respectively. This plant comprises of about 130 terpenoid indole alkaloids and two of them, vincristine and vinblastine, are common anticancer drugs. The effect of chromium (Cr) on enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant components and on secondary metabolites vincristine and vinblastine was studied under pot culture conditions of both varieties of C. roseus. Antioxidant responses of these varieties were analyzed under 0, 10, 50, and 100 μM chromium (Cr) level in order to investigate the plant's protective mechanisms against Cr induced oxidative stress. The results indicated that Cr affects all the studied parameters and decreases growth performance. However, vincristine and vinblastine contents were increased under Cr stress. Results are quite encouraging, as this plant shows good antioxidant potential and increased the level of active constituents under Cr stress.
PMCID: PMC3966348  PMID: 24734252
5.  Comparative karyomorphological study of some Indian Cymbidium Swartz, 1799 (Cymbidieae, Orchidaceae) 
Comparative Cytogenetics  2012;6(4):453-465.
Understanding the genetic resources and diversity is very important for the breeding programs and improvement of several economically important orchids like Cymbidium. Karyomorphological studies have been carried out on seven Cymbidium species, Cymbidium aloifolium (Linnaeus, 1753), Cymbidium devonianum Paxton,1843, Cymbidium elegans Lindley, 1828, Cymbidium iridioides D. Don, 1825, Cymbidium lowianum Rchb. f.,1877, Cymbidium tigrinum Parish ex Hook. f., 1864, and Cymbidium tracyanum L. Castle,1890, most of them endangered/threatened in their natural habitat. As reported earlier, the somatic chromosome number (2n = 40) has been observed in all the seven species. Distinct inter-specific variation was recorded in the arm ratio of few homologous pairs in the complements. Symmetrical or almost symmetrical karyotypes were prevalent; however significant asymmetry was reported in Cymbidium iridioides and Cymbidium tracyanum. The significance of karyotypic variation in speciation of the genus Cymbidium has been discussed. This study provides useful chromosome landmarks and evidence about genome evolution, heteromorphic chromosomes based heterozygosity, basic chromosome number and ploidy level in the genus Cymbidium.
PMCID: PMC3834576  PMID: 24260684
Orchidaceae; mitosis; karyotype; heteromorphism; symmetry
6.  Phylogenetic reconstruction in the Order Nymphaeales: ITS2 secondary structure analysis and in silico testing of maturase k (matK) as a potential marker for DNA bar coding 
BMC Bioinformatics  2012;13(Suppl 17):S26.
The Nymphaeales (waterlilly and relatives) lineage has diverged as the second branch of basal angiosperms and comprises of two families: Cabombaceae and Nymphaceae. The classification of Nymphaeales and phylogeny within the flowering plants are quite intriguing as several systems (Thorne system, Dahlgren system, Cronquist system, Takhtajan system and APG III system (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III system) have attempted to redefine the Nymphaeales taxonomy. There have been also fossil records consisting especially of seeds, pollen, stems, leaves and flowers as early as the lower Cretaceous. Here we present an in silico study of the order Nymphaeales taking maturaseK (matK) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) as biomarkers for phylogeny reconstruction (using character-based methods and Bayesian approach) and identification of motifs for DNA barcoding.
The Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian approach yielded congruent fully resolved and well-supported trees using a concatenated (ITS2+ matK) supermatrix aligned dataset. The taxon sampling corroborates the monophyly of Cabombaceae. Nuphar emerges as a monophyletic clade in the family Nymphaeaceae while there are slight discrepancies in the monophyletic nature of the genera Nymphaea owing to Victoria-Euryale and Ondinea grouping in the same node of Nymphaeaceae. ITS2 secondary structures alignment corroborate the primary sequence analysis. Hydatellaceae emerged as a sister clade to Nymphaeaceae and had a basal lineage amongst the water lilly clades. Species from Cycas and Ginkgo were taken as outgroups and were rooted in the overall tree topology from various methods.
MatK genes are fast evolving highly variant regions of plant chloroplast DNA that can serve as potential biomarkers for DNA barcoding and also in generating primers for angiosperms with identification of unique motif regions. We have reported unique genus specific motif regions in the Order Nymphaeles from matK dataset which can be further validated for barcoding and designing of PCR primers. Our analysis using a novel approach of sequence-structure alignment and phylogenetic reconstruction using molecular morphometrics congrue with the current placement of Hydatellaceae within the early-divergent angiosperm order Nymphaeales. The results underscore the fact that more diverse genera, if not fully resolved to be monophyletic, should be represented by all major lineages.
PMCID: PMC3521246  PMID: 23282079
7.  Ex situ conservation of Cymbidium eburneum Lindl.: a threatened and vulnerable orchid, by asymbiotic seed germination 
3 Biotech  2012;2(4):337-343.
The population of many splendid orchids is reducing from their natural habitats at an alarming rate and their conservation is becoming a matter of global concern. Asymbiotic seed germination has been applied for ex situ conservation of rare, endangered and threatened orchid taxa and could provide rapid means their multiplication. In the present study reported here, seeds of an epiphytic and rare orchid, Cymbidium eburneum were germinated asymbiotically in different basal media viz., Murashige and Skoog (MS), Knudson C, Mitra et al. (Mitra), Gamborg et al. (B5) and Nitsch. The highest germination rate was observed in Mitra medium, whereas the development of the protocorms was found to be best in MS medium. Effects of growth regulators viz., indole-3 acetic acid (IAA), α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-d), thidiazuron (TDZ), 6-benzyl aminopurine (BAP) and kinetin (Kn) both singly and in combination incorporated in the MS medium were studied on growth and development of seedlings. It was observed that MS medium nourished with 15 μM each of BAP and NAA in combination was found to enhance shoot number and length, and root number and length in the seedlings. The rooted seedlings were successfully acclimatized.
PMCID: PMC3482442
Ex situ conservation; Endangered; Asymbiotic seed germination; Protocorms; Cymbidium eburneum
8.  An effective nutrient medium for asymbiotic seed germination and large-scale in vitro regeneration of Dendrobium hookerianum, a threatened orchid of northeast India 
AoB Plants  2011;2012:plr032.
Submergence inhibits photosynthesis by terrestrial wetland plants, but less so in species that possess leaf gas films when submerged. Floodwaters are often supersaturated with dissolved CO2 enabling photosynthesis by submerged terrestrial plants, although rates remain well-below those in air. This important adaptation that enhances survival in submerged conditions is reviewed.
Background and aims
Dendrobium hookerianum is a rare and threatened epiphytic orchid of northeast India. Prospects for conservation would be strengthened by developing an in vitro method for mass propagation. Seeds are minute and difficult to use directly in the field for this purpose, being non-endospermous with a low nutrient content and dependent on a specific fungus for germination and early seedling development. Although produced in large numbers (2–3 million per capsule), <5 % germinate naturally in the wild. Our objective was to develop a rapid and successful method for in vitro propagation based on an initial in vitro asymbiotic seed germination step that achieved high percentages.
Effects of four different media, i.e. (i) Murashige and Skoog (MS), (ii) Mitra et al., (iii) Knudson (KC) and (iv) Gamborg et al. (B5), were evaluated for large-scale multiplication by asymbiotic seed germination. Seedling leaf number, shoot number, shoot length, root number and root length were scored. After 7–8 months, large numbers of well-rooted plantlets were transferred to a glasshouse in thermocol pots containing compost. Six different composts based on broken brick and charcoal were compared for their ability to support further development over 90 days of hardening.
Principal results
The fastest and highest percentage seed germination was achieved using MS medium. Seeds on MS medium germinated in 3–4 weeks compared with 7–8 weeks on B5 medium. Seedling development was also superior on MS medium. The inclusion of plant growth regulators was unnecessary. Compost comprising broken brick and charcoal with an upper layer of moss was found to be the most suitable for the survival of transferred plantlets. Ninety per cent survival of plantlets was achieved 90 days after transfer to a glasshouse.
The use of MS culture medium is well suited for the mass multiplication of D. hookerianum plants intended for re-introducing this threatened orchid into the wild.
PMCID: PMC3260561
9.  A simple and efficient protocol for the mass propagation of Cymbidium mastersii: an ornamental orchid of Northeast India 
AoB Plants  2012;2012:pls023.
The present investigation was undertaken to mass propagate Cymbidium mastersii, an ornamental orchid of Northeast India by in vitro propagation method. This approach could also help for the conservation as well as commercialization of C. mastersii and other threatened and ornamental orchids.
Background and aims
Cymbidium mastersii is an epiphytic orchid distributed mainly in Northeast India. Owing to its high commercial value in the floricultural industry, natural populations are under threat from over-exploitation. Mass propagation provides an alternative means of satisfying the demand. Unfortunately, conventional propagation is slow and difficult, suggesting in vitro methods for mass multiplication may be more appropriate. The objective of this study was to develop an efficient protocol.
Methodology and principal results
Four nutrient media were evaluated for seed germination and early protocorm development: Murashige and Skoog (MS), half-strength MS, Knudson ‘C’ (KC), and Vacin and Went (VW). In addition, the effects of plant growth regulators 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), kinetin (KN), α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) were studied alone and in combination. The maximum percentage seed germination (93.58 ± 0.56) was obtained in MS basal medium after 8–9 weeks of culture. Secondary protocorms (protocorm-like bodies) were developed from primary protocorms on MS medium fortified with different concentrations and combinations of cytokinins (BAP and KN) and auxins (NAA and IBA). The highest numbers of secondary protocorms (20.55 ± 0.62)/primary protocorms were obtained in MS medium supplemented with 5.0 µM BAP and 2.5 µM NAA. The most effective auxin source promoting root production (7.46 ± 0.09 per shoot) was 10.0 µM IBA. The plants were acclimatized effectively (survival percentage 88 %) in a greenhouse using a rooting medium of crushed sterile brick and charcoal (1 : 1 v/v) and vermicompost (leaf litter + cow dung, 1 : 1 v/v).
An efficient protocol was established for in vitro propagation of C. mastersii using seed as the starting material. The percentage seed germination varied with the composition of the nutrient media and was highest in full-strength MS basal medium. The number of secondary protocorms that developed from primary protocorms was increased by the addition of 5.0 µM BAP and 2.5 µM NAA. In vitro raised plantlets acclimatized in a greenhouse were closely similar to the mother plants in morphology.
PMCID: PMC3447538  PMID: 22997547
10.  Multiple shoot induction from axillary bud cultures of the medicinal orchid, Dendrobium longicornu 
AoB Plants  2012;2012:pls032.
The present investigation was undertaken to propagate D. longicornu, a medicinally important orchid using axillary bud segments. This approach could also help in conserving other threatened orchids as well.
Background and aims
Dendrobium longicornu, commonly known as the ‘Long-horned Dendrobium’, is an endangered and medicinally important epiphytic orchid. Over-exploitation and habitat destruction seriously threaten this orchid in Northeast India. Our objective was to develop an efficient protocol for the mass propagation of D. longicornu using axillary bud segments.
Methodology and principal results
Axillary buds cultured in Murashige and Skoog semi-solid medium supplemented with α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) readily developed into plantlets. These formed either directly from shoot buds or from intermediary protocorm-like bodies (PLBs). The maximum explant response (86.6 %) was obtained in medium supplemented with NAA at 30 µM, while the maximum number of shoots (4.42) and maximum bud-forming capacity (3.51) were observed in medium containing 15 µM BAP and 5 µM NAA in combination. Protocorm-like bodies were obtained when the medium contained 2,4-D. The maximum number of explants forming PLBs (41.48 %) was obtained in medium containing 15 µM BAP and 15 µM 2,4-D. Well-developed plantlets obtained after 20–25 weeks of culture were acclimatized and eventually transferred to the greenhouse. Over 60 % of these survived to form plants ∼3–4 cm tall after 90 days in glasshouse conditions using a substrate of crushed brick and charcoal, shredded bark and moss.
The method described can readily be used for the rapid and large-scale regeneration of D. longicornu. Its commercial adoption would reduce the collection of this medicinally important and increasingly rare orchid from the wild.
PMCID: PMC3491754  PMID: 23136638
11.  In vitro plantlet regeneration from nodal segments and shoot tips of Capsicum chinense Jacq. cv. Naga King Chili 
3 Biotech  2011;2(1):31-35.
An in vitro regeneration protocol was developed for Capsicum chinense Jacq. cv. Naga King Chili, a very pungent chili cultivar and an important horticultural crop of Nagaland (Northeast India). Maximum number of shoot (13 ± 0.70) was induced with bud-forming capacity (BFC) index of 10.8, by culturing nodal segments in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 18.16 μM Thidiazuron (TDZ) followed by 35.52 μM 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). Using shoot tips as explants, multiple shoot (10 ± 0.37) (BFC 8.3) was also induced in MS medium fortified with either 18.16 μM TDZ or 35.52 μM BAP. Elongated shoots were best rooted in MS medium containing 5.70 μM indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Rooted plantlets thus developed were hardened in 2–3 weeks time in plastic cups containing potting mixture of a 1:1 mix of soil and cow dung manure and then subsequently transferred to earthen pots. The regenerated plants did not show any variation in the morphology and growth as compared to the parent plant.
PMCID: PMC3339594  PMID: 22582155
Capsicum chinense Jacq.; Nodal segments; Plant regeneration; Shoot tips; Chemistry; Bioinformatics; Agriculture; Stem Cells; Biomaterials; Biotechnology; Cancer Research
12.  In vitro plantlet regeneration from nodal segments and shoot tips of Capsicum chinense Jacq. cv. Naga King Chili 
3 Biotech  2011;2(1):31-35.
An in vitro regeneration protocol was developed for Capsicum chinense Jacq. cv. Naga King Chili, a very pungent chili cultivar and an important horticultural crop of Nagaland (Northeast India). Maximum number of shoot (13 ± 0.70) was induced with bud-forming capacity (BFC) index of 10.8, by culturing nodal segments in Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 18.16 μM Thidiazuron (TDZ) followed by 35.52 μM 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). Using shoot tips as explants, multiple shoot (10 ± 0.37) (BFC 8.3) was also induced in MS medium fortified with either 18.16 μM TDZ or 35.52 μM BAP. Elongated shoots were best rooted in MS medium containing 5.70 μM indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Rooted plantlets thus developed were hardened in 2–3 weeks time in plastic cups containing potting mixture of a 1:1 mix of soil and cow dung manure and then subsequently transferred to earthen pots. The regenerated plants did not show any variation in the morphology and growth as compared to the parent plant.
PMCID: PMC3339594  PMID: 22582155
Capsicum chinense Jacq.; Nodal segments; Plant regeneration; Shoot tips
13.  Micropropagation of Ilex khasiana, a critically endangered and endemic holly of Northeast India 
AoB Plants  2011;2011:plr012.
The paper describes in vitro techniques for mass propagation of IIex khasiana, a rare and critically endangered holly endemic to Khasi Hills Hills of Meghalaya, India. The approach will help conserve I. khasiana and other endangered species.
Background and aims
Ilex khasiana is a rare and critically endangered holly endemic to the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, India, and confined to a small number of pocket areas. In addition to conventional methods of propagation, endemic and threatened plants such as this could be more effectively multiplied and conserved using in vitro methods. Such techniques have the additional advantage of having a low impact on wild populations because they require a minimum of starting material. Our objective was to develop methodologies for the successful in vitro mass propagation of I. khasiana.
Seedlings were germinated in vitro under sterile conditions and nodal explants from these were transferred to Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 8.88 µM 6-benzyladenine and 4.64 µM kinetin.
Principal results
This generated ∼10 shoots per explant. In a second approach, callus was obtained from seedling-derived leaf discs cultured on MS medium supplemented with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 6-benzyladenine. Approximately 12 adventitious shoots per callus were regenerated from 83.33 % of the calli after transfer to MS medium supplemented with 6.63 µM 6-benzyladenine. The most effective treatment for inducing root formation on the shoots was transfer of shoots to half-strength MS medium with 9.84 µM indole-3-butyric acid. Regenerated plantlets with well-developed shoots and roots were hardened and transferred to open soil with 70 % survival after 4 weeks.
Both the methods described here are well suited for the mass multiplication of this critically endangered tree species.
PMCID: PMC3129536  PMID: 22476482

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